Sony is to gatecrash the fledgling market in handheld devices to play downloaded video content early next year when it launches a service for the PlayStation Portable.
The decision, which could threaten Apple Computer's grip on the video download market, will allow PSP owners to download a film from the internet to a PC and then to transfer a single, legal version of the film to a Sony device.
Sony, which has sold more than 20m PSPs worldwide, expects to launch the service in the first quarter of 2007 after tying up deals with online video providers.
Crucially for Sony, the service will not require the launch of a new PSP or for consumers to buy new hardware.
The new PSP service has been developed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and will use the Japanese company's memory stick technology to store the video content. Sony is distributing a 4Gb memory stick capable of storing 10 feature films.
News source: Financial Times